Harrison wins bronze in US national championships

Marissa Harrison, left, and Charlie Ekstrom tied for third against 110 of the best under-16 teams in the United States.

Cayman-born Marissa Harrison and her beach volleyball partner Charlie Ekstrom battled a field of 110 teams in the under-16 division of the United States Beach Volleyball National Championships July 11 to 13 in Hermosa Beach, California.

The duo had an 8-1 record at the tournament to finish tied for third and take home bronze medals.

“It was a great tournament, extremely competitive,” Marissa, 15, said in a press release. “Each club selected only their best teams to represent them, so it was tough. There were no easy games. My partner played really well and my coach, Jeff Smith, did a great job getting us ready.”

Harrison and Ekstrom played together last year at this same championships in the under-14 division and finished fifth. They represent the 692 Beach Volleyball Club, based in San Diego.

“We fit well together because she has a lot of power on offense and my strength is defense,” Marissa said. “Next year I hope we do even better.”

Harrison, born in Cayman and now living in California, represented the Cayman Islands at the NORCECA tournament hosted by Cayman last April. She was 14 then and is believed to be the youngest player ever to compete in a NORCECA event.